ADHD Sucks AND It's Not What You Think It Is!

August 22, 2023
ADHD and Trauma

Our newest member of the team, Sas our Business Development Assistant, shares with us her experience of living as a young woman with ADHD. She also happens to be our Director’s daughter. Lisa tells us “I am so proud that Sas is now on the team here at TICS bringing a unique perspective to just about everything. Her creative mind, her desire to learn and her ability to tell me when I get things wrong, makes me the luckiest Mama (and now Employer) in the world.”

In Sas’s own words…

“As a young person navigating life with ADHD, I've faced my fair share of challenges. It hasn't been easy, especially considering I wasn't diagnosed until I reached the age of 24. The misunderstanding surrounding ADHD has only added to the difficulties I've encountered. The outdated notion that ADHD is limited to misbehaving boys who can't sit still is far from the truth. Girls can also be affected by ADHD, and the mental struggles associated with it go well beyond mere restlessness.

ADHD is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that manifests in various ways. Symptoms include difficulties in sustaining attention, impulsivity, hyperactivity, and impaired executive functioning. However, not everyone experiences hyperactive behaviour and everyone’s experience with adhd is different.

One of the biggest challenges I've faced in my journey with ADHD is the presence of rejection sensitivity dysphoria (RSD). It has been a constant struggle, causing self-doubt, negative thoughts and difficulties in my relationships. For me, RSD means experiencing rejection intensely and feeling ill-equipped to handle it. Criticism has always hit me hard, stirring up intense emotions and making it incredibly difficult for me to accept and learn from it. I vividly recall moments from my childhood when I would become infuriated with myself if I couldn't achieve perfection on the first attempt. This aspect of RSD has been particularly debilitating, as the fear of imperfection often leads me to avoid tasks altogether.

The lack of awareness surrounding the unique experiences of girls and young women with ADHD is a primary factor contributing to the late recognition of the condition. I still struggle to cope with my ADHD but I choose not to medicate because even though it can be helpful, it really didn’t work for me! I manage my ADHD as best I can by resting and going easy on myself when I need to, going on regular walks and moving my body (which my dog, noodle helps a lot with) and drinking lots of tea!”

Next time Sas will talk about living with executive dysfunction.

We hope this article has been helpful and if you’re looking for any training or consultancy in your setting on anything mentioned in this article or on related areas on trauma informed practice, please do contact Lyndsay, our Working Together Lead, on and she will help to support you on your journey.

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